Is “Saving More Money” Always The Cure?

Wall Street’s remedy for fixing whatever problems that afflict your investment portfolio is simple: “Save more money.”

And if you happen to be among the godforsaken group that always manages to have unsatisfactory investment results, regardless of whether the pesky stock market is up or down, Wall Street’s solution is invariably the same: You need to “save more money!”

In summary, the financial problems you face – however dire they may be – are your own fault. Why? Because you’re probably not saving enough money, you big dummy!

The widespread belief that “saving more money” is the cure-all to people’s financial problems has sold many costly financial plans. It’s also sold a ton of cutely titled books for authors that have made more money from book sales than the stuff they’re preaching about – saving and investing money.

Is “saving more money” really be all and end all cure?

To date, I’ve analyzed and graded over $120 million in Portfolio Report Cards. Virtually all of the portfolios I’ve examined are from individuals who are better than average savers. In other words, they are consistent with their savings habit and they save at least up to what their company’s 401(k) match is and in many cases, more. If they are self-employed, they’ve established a retirement savings plan (PRFDX) and they regularly fund it with at least 10% of their annual income or more.

What’s the problem?

The real reason so many investment portfolios are structurally flawed isn’t because people are bad savers. Nor is it because people are dumb or lack education. The chief problem is that people fail to protect the financial assets they’ve accumulated by implementing a perpetual cushion. For instance, an equity heavy portfolio (SCHB) should perform well during a rising stock market (DVY), but is susceptible to shipwreck during a bear market (SPXS). Simple as that may be to understand, properly hedging against the adverse possibilities of a bear market isn’t commonly practiced.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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